Why are all the small drum sizes so popular

itsjjp

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Easier to transport and manage, easier to tune small drums low than to tune large drums high. Different era, marketing. I like standard depth kicks and toms, and always have.
 

christopherhero

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I recently did a session where the bass drum w/ the right punch and size ended up being a lower end premier apk 16" kick. I love that thing!

It seems especially in higher end modern kits that you can get a lot out of much smaller sizes now. Dig it!
 

Slingwig26

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I had a ‘60 wmp. I loved it, had a 12x14ft converted from a 40’s Radio King. Only sold it because I was offered “stupid” money for it.
I also “reclaimed” Ludwig 6ply orphan shells into this 16/13/10 beauty with an awesome Premier 6.5x12 snare.
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Jordan Blue

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My 2 cents from an "old" guy...I'm 65 years old.
Smaller drums are easier to carry, lighter, and take up less room on stages that keep shrinking in size.
If the drum isn't loud enough, then mike it.
Stretch
There ya go. Preach it. Those of us who are older than dirt need smaller and lighter kits.
 

TonyVazquez

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I recently did a session where the bass drum w/ the right punch and size ended up being a lower end premier apk 16" kick. I love that thing!

It seems especially in higher end modern kits that you can get a lot out of much smaller sizes now. Dig it!
I agree. One can get a good punchy attack and tight sound out of smaller kick drums
whether they are 20", 18", and even 16" kicks... and probably a 14" kick as well.
It's just a matter of choice for what would seem to work out good at the moment.
With the right mics, studio gear, and slick recording techniques it's all possible.
 

The Whale

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Lets not forget that radius isn't the only factor. I've had a handful of bop kits from many different companies in a few different woods. I currently play a DW Collectors 10 14 18. It sounds deeper and bigger than many 13 16 22 kits I've played. This little kit is a monster when it comes to sound. There is just so much you can do with quality drums. Get the right heads, the right tuning and yes if need be mic's. But as the saying goes.... Its not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean. And there is an ocean of elements that make up our sound.
 

Tubwompus

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If you mean small drum KITS...
Everything that I hear in my head, musically, can be played on a 4-pc. kit, although my preference is actually 1 up and 2 down.
If you’re referring to small drum SIZES, they’re not popular with me at all. I have them if a client or producer asks for them but they’re by no means my go-to stuff.
 

bicho feo

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i’ve always preferred smaller kits from a purely ergonomic standpoint. A 22” bass drum practically forces you into having a 4” to 6” vertical distance between the snare & the rack toms. Smaller bass drums permit a much more ‘friendly’ environment for quick movement around the kit. I like sitting kind of low, so positioning the throne so that my feet were sort of dangling in space (i’m 5’10” btw) just isn’t an option. For me it’s that simple.

Oddly, tiny drums are fashionable now, though I’ve always used 20” or 18” bass drums. I recall many instances from the past 30 years where - after a gig - I’ve been asked by other drummers where they can find a kit with a smaller bass drum. I guess the drum makers finally woke up!
 

superunknown

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Im 50 i dont understand small drums. I like the huge power toms from the 70s and 80s and big kicks. Never understood the small drum thing. They look wimpy Unless uou know its
 

TonyVazquez

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This Ludwig Breakbeats kit looks really cool.
I'd swap those stands for heavy-duty Tama stands,
and replace the heads with Remo black pinstripes or
Evans clear red Hydraulics. DW 5K dbl pedal,
EMAD kick batter with a Falam slam pad.
Keep the Ziljays and add a china, and a splash,
and a cowbell. Hold my beer...
Small kits with beefy stands and deep heads. I like that.

That face people make at a show when you stomp this kick
and that first thud from the PA speaker sends a gust of wind
right through them.
Small kit, big sound. Droool :icon_e_biggrin:

Ludwig-Breakbeats_drumkit.jpg
 

pgm554

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Drums are about 50% fashion and style,the other 50% is build and quality.
Has anybody tried to sell an oversized kit from the 80's?(concert toms included)
Not many buyers these days.
 

TonyVazquez

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Im 50 i dont understand small drums. I like the huge power toms from the 70s and 80s and big kicks. Never understood the small drum thing. They look wimpy Unless uou know its
I've had my fun playing on larger drum kits, and I miss their thundering sounds.
But, times and trends have changed, and my preferences have changed.
I could go back n forth either way, but Change remains the same.

Some folks like to drive large vehicles, and others like to drive compact cars.

Drum sizes are a matter of personal preference; and for others a matter of adjustment
when no other option is available...

On that last note, some drummers may be facing physical challenges in which they
cannot manage lifting larger drum kits around all the time- let alone the hardware stands.
This is something that some of us elder drummers have to consider while we
continue doing what we love... because later on down the road we may have to
give it up due to later age and health reasons.
Until then, we make adjustments by switching to fewer drums or a smaller sized kit
that is physically manageable.

Some older drummers who are still touring and performing may have roadies
doing all the heavy lifting and set-ups/tear-downs for them.
Other older drummers playing the local club scene who can't afford roadies
are still hauling their own drum gear, setting up, tearing down, and worrying
about hernias... thrown-out backs... pulled muscles... titanium limb implants
after surgery... strained vertebrae... whatever.
And so, a smaller sized drum kit is perhaps their only option.
In my opinion, I don't see anything wimpy about a small sized drum kit.
On the contrary, it's doing me a favor while drumming keeps me in shape.

Almost 30 years ago, I used to carry a large 7-piece drum kit to gigs
at venues all around me within a 3 mile radius, on a dolly or in a shopping cart,
in the Allentown district, and the downtown district of Buffalo NY.
I didn't mind it at all, and it gave me a sense of pride knowing that if
I wanted to play gigs I would have to sweat for it.
Fast forward to the summer of 2010 in Albany NY, I had hernia surgery.
And in April of last year I had surgery for a perforated ulcer.
I'm not that brute-force young drummer I used to be, so now as I'm
getting older (I'm 55) I have to take it easy and lessen my load,
by switching to a smaller sized kit.
Even with health coverage, I cannot afford medical bills for
hauling heavy or bulky musical gear around.

Someone somewhere might say "Well if physical challenges are an issue,
why don't those older drummers retire from playing drums?
"
Easier said than done... how could one tell another to give up something
he or she has loved doing for most of his or her life?
We create music for the love of the artistic expressions we convey
through our chosen instruments. We choose to do this.
And we'll continue to do this until we determine for ourselves that we
have done enough and when it's time to quit.
In the meantime, we work and play with what we have.
 

JimmySticks

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Im 50 i dont understand small drums. I like the huge power toms from the 70s and 80s and big kicks. Never understood the small drum thing. They look wimpy Unless uou know its
Are you at least trying to understand?

There’s plenty of good opinions and the personal experiences of drummers here that should help you to get it.
 

Talktotommy

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Are you at least trying to understand?

There’s plenty of good opinions and the personal experiences of drummers here that should help you to get it.
Thanks for all the interesting replies. As I said at the beginning I don’t own any modern kits with small size drums but I’ve certainly seen and heard several played at clubs. They sound great don’t get me wrong I just don’t like how they look on stage with a larger or taller person behind them. They just look like toys.
That’s just my neuroses I guess.
Are you at least trying to understand?

There’s plenty of good opinions and the personal experiences of drummers here that should help you to get it.
Thanks for all the interesting replies. As I said at the beginning I don’t own any modern kits with small size drums but I’ve certainly seen and heard several played at clubs. They sound great don’t get me wrong I just don’t like how they look on stage with a larger or taller person behind them. They just look like toys.
That’s just my neuroses I guess.
 

Keith Balla

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that's not..the style to do that...

That's my point (Yes I 'm a confirmed jazzer (why isn't everyone who plays drums I'll never fully get)

You see I think everyone has dabbled in Jazz My Big Mistake.
What OP is talking (I believe about) is the mini "clubby" kits smattered all over the computer screens. Here I am defending 1956 Max Roach with an 18" bass drum.
My bad. I do it all the time. On the other hand I would love to nudge everyone a little towards jazz (even Bandit ; ) (who said I "harm" him in someway everytime I mention " the "J" word"

sorry
Not the thread topic but...I really doubt Max was playing an 18" in 1956...listen to Max+4 on Mercury from that year...sounds like a 20" to me...Nor were Blakey, Klook, Cobb, Elvin, Philly Joe Jones, or Roy Haynes playing an 18" until the early 60s (don't think that PJJ or Klook ever did). Funny how an 18" is constantly referred to as a " bebop" bass drum when Bird died in 1955 and it doesn't appear that any drummers who played with him did so using an 18".
 


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